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Now it makes so much sense. I don’t know how I missed it. Trump’s campaign is so perfectly consistent, it’s almost scary. No, it is scary. It means we’re down to our last hope.
When I Turned On Trump
I put this in my book, Turning On Trump. I remember the night. I wrote late. Something hit me like wolves howling in the distance. Telling me something had changed. Or some ancient truth, long buried, had been uncovered. What I wrote on December 20, 2015:
Donald Trump donated lots of money to the Clintons. He said nice things about Barack Obama. He promoted socialized medicine. He built his real estate business with crony capitalism. And Phyllis Schlafly is endorsing him?
I can’t question Mrs. Schlafly’s judgment. So I have to ponder the message.
Trump is the “last hope for America.”
Last hope. Last hope. Last hope.
The phrase ricochets around my brain like a ping pong ball shot into a Pringles can. “Last hope.”
Today I figured it all out. Things are really, really bad in America. Trump’s “I alone can fix it” line wasn’t an egomaniacal rhetorical flourish. Trump alone can fix it. You’ll want to walk through this discovery with me. Follow closely, and it will be easy.
To put everything into context, we have to start with reactions to Trump’s acceptance speech.
Criticism of Trump’s Speech
Here are some of the words used to describe Trump’s acceptance speech: dark, dystopian, desperate, angst-ridden, pessimistic, strong man.
It was all of those things, but it was much, much more. Trump described America and the world accurately. We are living in a dark, dystopian, desperate time, folks. Just look at the news. ISIS killed 80 people in Kabul on July 22, and it won’t even be a headline. Public and corporate debt are at Depression-triggering levels. The central bankers have no idea what to do. Cops are targets for marauding gangs of race-motivated killers. Here’s the Dana Milbank’s breakdown of Trump’s major themes:
“Violence in our streets.”
“Chaos in our communities.”
“We don’t have much time.”
“One international humiliation after another.”
“Forced to their knees.”
“Helpless to die at the hands of savage killers.”
“Worse than it has ever been.”
“Poverty and violence at home, war and destruction abroad.”
“Ignored, neglected and abandoned.”
“Horrible and unfair.”
“Corruption has reached a level like never, ever before.”
“Men, women and children viciously mowed down.”
“Families ripped apart.”
“Damage and devastation.”
“Such egregious crime.”
“This,” Trump concluded, “is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism and weakness.”
Trump’s speech was realism in an age of snowflake fakery, and the contrast makes you blink with shock. After two decades of hiding our trash, the garbage pails are overflowing into America’s living room.
It’s time to choose because we’re down to our last hope as a nation and as a civilization. What began with the Renaissance will end with Hillary if anyone other than Donald Trump wins, even if it takes 200 years to see it.
And if things were not so bad, would Donald Trump would run as if his life depended on it? Billionaires five years past retirement age don’t run for president for shits and giggles. As you read, you will see that Donald Trump is totally serious and totally consistent. Just read on and you’ll see.
In 1988, Donald Trump appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show. He was pumping his book, The Art of the Deal, but the conversation veered off into politics.
Trump explained that the only way he’d run for president is if America was down to its last hope—only if all other “leaders” had failed. Pay close attention to every word of this exchange between Trump and Oprah, set up by Eric Trump’s remarkable RNC speech.
That’s so important, folks. Donald Trump said two things you must remember.
- I won’t run for president unless things get so bad that no one else can fix them.
- If I run, I’m running to win.
If you thought Trump was mean and unfair to his primary opponents, remember those two things. No one else fixed the problems, and Trump plays to win. Always to win.
If it got so bad, I would never want to rule it out totally, because I really am tired of seeing what’s happening with this country. We’re really making other people live like kings, and we’re not.
There you have it. “If it got so bad, I would never want to rule it [running for president] out.”
That was 1988. Ronald Reagan was president. Many Americans were convinced that Japanese firms would soon dominate America. Back to the Future 2 predicted we’d be servants to Japanese masters. You might want to check out this Business Insider slide show about the era.
Yet, Trump waved off talk of running for president himself. He trusted that political leaders would fix the problem before it got “so bad.”
What Happened Since
It got so bad.
If you think Trump showed contempt and disdain for his opponents, it’s because they let things “get so bad.” Things are bad, and Hillary Clinton was at the center of making them so.
Is it any wonder that Trump is running like his life depends on it? Is it any wonder that his amazing kids are in this 100 percent? Is it any wonder that Phyllis Schlafly endorsed Trump, the only candidate with the balls to say, “we are down to our last election?”
Donald Trump could be enjoying life at 70 as a billionaire. Instead, he’s trying to fix what no one else bothered to fix. What most politicians won’t even admit. Hillary Clinton won’t even say “Islamic terrorism.” It’s so bad that Donald Trump is willing to live out his remaining years restoring American greatness and preserving Western Civilization.
But it’s Trump’s remarkable consistency that blows me away. He flirted with running for president in 2000 with the Reform Party and in 2012 as a Republican. He dropped out saying the professional politicians seemed like they knew what needed to be done. In 2012, he endorsed and supported Mitt Romney. Somehow Romney convinced Trump that the Romney-Ryan team would fix it.
But they didn’t. Romney couldn’t even run an effective campaign.
And the bad things in America and around the world got worse and worse. At some point, Trump figured, “it has to be me.”
It Had to Be Him, It Had to Be Now
You might say Ted Cruz saw the same problems and could have fixed them. But Ted Cruz could not even energize Southern evangelical Christians enough to beat Trump. Cruz didn’t want it as badly as Trump. And Cruz has absolutely no track record of accomplishments that Mr. Trump has. Winning a few legal cases is far different from turning a million dollar loan from your father in a $10 billion company.
Of all the people in politics today, Donald Trump is the only one who recognizes the desperate state our country is, has a history of doing the impossible, and shows the willingness to set aside the business he loves to fix the thing we all love more: the United States.
Now it all makes sense. Trump’s run isn’t some narcissistic pleasure cruise. It’s a last-ditch effort to save the country that Donald Trump loves even more than the company he built.
Now you know the job must be done and only Trump can do it, you can do your part by reading my new book.
Also published on Medium.